On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 18:49:20 +0100 someone who may be Ross Hamilton <[email protected]> wrote this:- >You can imagine what happened when he put a light to the barrel... > >Certainly instructive. ;-) Sometimes I re-read, "the finest account of war at sea ever written"; "Very Ordinary Seaman", by J P W Mallalieu. This is taken from that and will have happened in about 1940. "A week before they had expected to go on leave the course was extended for another two weeks to include training in land warfare. "The course was new. 'I don't know much about this thing,' said a Chief with a tommy-gun in his hand. 'But once you are used to handling weapons of any sort the others usually come easy. This 'ere is the magazine,' he said holding up a circular object and then fixing it with some difficulty to the gun. 'Now this will be the cocking handle. It ought to work like this,' and he pulled and pushed it, pointing the gun at the class, up in the air, or anywhere. "Suddenly, rat-a-tat-tat, and the gun fired. Three small holes appeared in the corrugated-iron roof. "'Now, boys, I'm sorry about that. Must 'ave touched the trigger when I was jerking the cocking handle. That's the worst of these American things. They're not made as safe as our own stuff. Now, don't you say anything about this or you'll get me in the rattle , proper. I'll just mention it to the office, but don't you say a word, will you?' "Next day they again marched to this drill shed and again were faced by an Instructor with a tommy-gun in his hand. But it was a different Instructor. So the other old boy had got in the rattle after all. Poor old boy! Still, it was his fault. "They settled themselves and the Instructor began. "'This,' said the new Instructor , 'is a tommy-gun. It's an American weapon. You'll 'ave seen it used on the films, I dare say. I don't know much about it myself, but I'll soon learn,' at which the class, as one man, threw themselves on the deck."  "the rattle", trouble of various sorts including being sent to the cells. -- David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government prevents me by using the RIP Act 2000.